Janette Caton Hudson

- June 16, 2024

Janette Caton Hudson of Charlottesville, VA died on June 16, 2024 at Martha Jefferson House. She was the daughter of Johanna “Hanni” Schaaf and William Caton, and the sister of Suzanne Behr and Steven Caton. She was 83 years old.

Janette Caton was born in Stuttgart, Germany on August 9, 1940. From 1946 to 1951 she lived with her family in Belgium and attended a French-speaking school, then moved back to Germany where she earned an Abitur in 1959. Entering Northwestern University as a junior, she graduated with highest distinction with a BA in 1961, then went on to earn her MA from Stanford in 1963, and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973. Her dissertation, which she wrote on a manual typewriter with two young children underfoot, is titled Achim von Arnim and André Breton: Zur Verwandtschaft der deutschen Romantik und des französischen Surrealismus, and runs 308 pages.

From 1978 to 2012 Janette taught at the University of Virginia in the Department of Germanic Language and Literature. She was a devoted and dedicated teacher, and built strong relationships with the graduate students she mentored and the undergraduates she coached. She loved walks, trees, reading the newspaper, talking with friends, and listening to the radio, especially NPR and WVTF. She had a greeting card for every occasion, often filled with a cartoon or article carefully clipped from the paper. She had a witty sense of humor, an enormous library of books, and a deep sense of happiness around her grandchildren.

Janette is held in loving memory by her daughters and their families: Ann Hudson, Allen Rein, Rae Rein, and Joshua Rein of Evanston, IL; Barbara Hudson, Michael D’Arrigo, Dylan D’Arrigo, and Leo D’Arrigo of Manlius, NY; and Sarah Hudson, Nathan Anderson, Josephine Anderson, and Juliet Anderson of Atlanta, GA; her brother, Steven Caton and his husband, Don Scott; her brother-in-law Rick Behr, eight nieces and nephews, and beloved friends and family around the world. She will be interred beside her husband of 53 years, John “Jack” Hudson, who died in 2016.

Thanks to all her friends who walked with her, shared meals with her, debated with her, laughed with her, and kept her company. Thanks also to everyone at the Martha Jefferson House who cared for her with loving kindness for the last years of her life.

A celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please vote.